Friday, March 28, 2014

Nature Graces Central Park

Honk if you like the "Great Blue Heron"

Murray Head
3/26/14 and 3/27/14

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Fox Sparrow in Central Park - 3/12/2012

Tom Fiore reports:

At Central Park's reservoir this Sun.  [i.e. TODAY mw] the transitional-plumaged RED-NECKED GREBE continued, seen mostly off the n. side buildings & a few times more towards the central area. (The entire reservoir, as with almost all the rest of the park's waterbodies, is ice-free. The exception being one part of the Pond, where some ice lingers.)  Worth checking any grebe that is seen, as there is a chance a different individual could show up. The one presently being seen is the 2nd of the year at the reservoir.

Additionally at the reservoir, again a drake American Wigeon, joined by 4 Ring-necked Ducks (2 hens & 2 drakes) were all seen (& photographed together) near the NE corner; also present in that section of the reservoir were over 120 N. Shovelers, several Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, and other ducks. A Red-breasted Merganser drake was still present, and some Wood Ducks were noticed near the se shore. There are a few Double-crested Cormorants & lingering American Coots, and perhaps 6 or 7 Ruddy Ducks at the reservoir. The number of gulls in the early a.m. hour when I scanned were paltry, but more may arrive, & depart again, at all hours.  

The Pond at the southeast end of the park had a Great Blue Heron & an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron, both resting in the SE edges of Hallett Sanctuary, as viewed from the se shore of the Pond.  At the Meer, in the park's ne quadrant, I noticed a continuing drake Wood Duck (often at the east edges), Hooded Mergansers, & Ruddy Ducks (few) along with more N. Shovelers.  Additional N. Shovelers (40+) were on the Lake, as was at least one more drake Wood Duck.

"red" FOX SPARROWS are still about in modest numbers, some singing as have been a good many Song Sparrows. I just learned of yet another Brown Thrasher that successfully overwintered, in a somewhat secluded part of the park, bringing their no. to at least 3 that made it thru the winter. E. Towhees did likewise in several locations, & at least one Gray Catbird hung in, likely with some help from scraps of food & other non-wild food sources. 

The drab-plumaged PINE WARBLER remains, often visiting the feeders in the Ramble, as well as at Cedar Hill, across the E. Drive from the eastern Ramble (i.e., not more than 100 yds. or so from the feeding station) & 2 Baltimore Orioles, one a bright male, continue as well in same areas. There are a couple of genuine "spring" arrivals as well some of which were present well before the first day of spring. A few American Woodcocks are still being seen; the way I have run into them has been due to their being flushed all too often, not intentionally, but with 10,000 off-leasg dogs & their unleashed owners, kids & adults running thru mucky or wet areas, etc., etc. this is inevitable in an urban park used by tens or hundreds of thousands of people, & dogs, per day.

good birding,

Tom Fiore